Review for album “touch” Freejazzblog
Read the review for my solo double bass album “Touch – 8 improvised stories” at freejazzblog here (by Eyal Hareuveni).
Athens-based Kokkinaris studied the classical methods of playing the double bass but aims at exploring the instrument’s sonic range and unique qualities together with elements of speech, acting and movements, This is his debut solo album, spontaneously improvised in a three hours session from December 2017 that yielded 25 pieces. Later, eight of which were chosen, all with no overdubs, no amplification and no preparations.
Kokkinaris frames his aesthetics in political terms. His liner notes emphasizes the importance of risk-taking, especially in the current era that numbs all signs of individuality and creativity into superficial, collective thinking, often triggered by fear-mongering politics. These times require the emotional intelligence of artists that are gifted with direct contact with our world. Free improvisation is one of the best methods to foster such direct and creative relationship with our world, charging it with much needed, healthy doses of invigorating freedom.
Kokkinaris sees his improvisations as means of connecting with himself and others. Each of the eight pieces offers an insight into his own language, syntax and vocabulary of the bull fiddle and its countless stories. “Postponed Friendship” investigates the dark, highly resonating timbres of the bass with careful bow work. “Radio Reed Contact” sketches nervous, provocative noises with extended bowing techniques. The following “Nekiya” methodically structures rhythmic patterns from sparse sounds. The poetic “Fish Eating The Anchor” plays with delicate ripples of overtones while “Vain Quest Loop” suggests an enigmatic, cinematic narrative, spiced with exotic percussive sounds and tortured bowing. “Flies with Cinnamon” combines stream of consciousness chants, transformed into tense, repetitive acts of bowing. “Amber Formations” demonstrates the orchestral qualities of the bass, filling the room with its powerful, dramatic presence and deep voices. The last “Body & Mouth Pleasures” is the most playful and rhythmic piece here, summarizing all the pleasures the Kokkinaris produces from his beloved instrument.